Response to a Claim for Payment of Unpaid Overtime Wages
Outline of the case
After a truck driver for a small transportation company resigned from the company, a claim for payment of unpaid overtime wages in excess of 20 million yen was filed through an attorney at a law firm by content-certified mail. The truck driver has calculated the time of departure and arrival at the garage based on his driving report, and further calculated his working hours as working hours, including the time from his home to the company garage and back, and calculated the unpaid overtime wages based on the overtime pay calculation software. In addition, the company claimed the same amount as unpaid overtime as additional compensation based on Article 114 of the Labor Standards Law, resulting in a claim in excess of 20 million yen. When the company refused to pay the overtime wages because it was not an amount that the company could afford to pay and there was a problem with the calculation method of the overtime wages, the worker in question filed a lawsuit in the court where the company is located.
Dispute Resolution through Settlement
Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office was consulted by the company at the stage when the lawsuit was filed with the court and decided to represent the company in the lawsuit. We examined the driving reports for the past two years and the delivery routes that the driver in question had been in charge of, and prepared a list concerning his working hours (overtime hours), including travel time. As a result, it became clear that a significant portion of the plaintiff’s alleged overtime hours, including travel time from home to the garage and rest time, were not subject to overtime pay. In addition, when we confirmed the working style and employment status of the driver in question, we found that the contract was originally concluded not as an employment contract but as an outsourcing contract, and that the remuneration was based on a piece-rate payment system (Article 27 of the Labor Standards Law) since the payment of remuneration was determined by performing a certain amount of work. The court found that the contract was not an employment contract, but a contract for outsourcing work. Therefore, we explained these circumstances to the court in detail, and the judge understood our arguments and was quite persuasive to the plaintiff’s side. As a result, a judicial settlement was finally reached with a payment of 500,000 yen.
Services provided by Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office
- (1) Dispute resolution regarding unpaid overtime wages
Due to the revision of the Civil Code in 2020, the statute of limitations period for unpaid overtime wages was changed from 2 years to 3 years. As a result, claims for payment of unpaid overtime wages, which were previously limited to a maximum of the past two years, can now be filed for the past three years, which means that even higher amounts will be claimed. Based on our experience in handling many labor issues, Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office will advocate the client’s position through negotiations with workers, negotiations with unions, labor tribunal proceedings, and lawsuits, leading to the resolution of disputes.
- (2) Advice on working hour management
Companies need to improve their work rules, establish a salary structure that includes fixed overtime hours, adopt a deemed overtime system and a piece-rate system, and better manage working hours on a daily basis. Our firm will support your efforts to prevent the accrual of unpaid overtime by reviewing work rules and providing advice on labor time management methods based on an understanding of the actual working conditions of your company.
- (3) Unique characteristics of transportation companies
In the case of transportation companies with long working hours, the issue of unpaid overtime is a very important one that affects the management of the company. Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office has provided legal advice to a wide range of transportation companies, from major Japanese transportation companies to small transportation companies. In particular, for transportation companies with large numbers of truck drivers, the adoption of a fixed overtime system or a piece-rate system is considered essential. If you wish to seek legal advice on time management, including disputes over over overtime hours and revisions to work rules, please contact Kuribayashi Sogo Law Office.
For general companies
-Sending certified mail: 100,000 yen (110,000 yen including tax)
-Negotiations regarding overtime: 30,000 yen per hour based on time charge system (33,000 yen including tax)
-Labor Tribunal: Starting at 400,000 yen (440,000 yen including tax). Contingency fee: 10% of the economic profit obtained (excluding tax)
-Litigation: Starting fee and contingency fee based on the compensation rules of the bar association.
Clients with whom we have concluded an advisory contract
-20% reduction from the above amount